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Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together With Death's Duel

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Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together With Death's Duel


Published March 18, 2013


LibriVox recording of Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together With Death's Duel by John Donne. Read by David Wales.

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English theologian and writer John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness. The work consists of twenty-three parts ('devotions') describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation (or objection) , and a Prayer. The work is an excellent example of seventeenth century English spirituality and sometimes feels a bit dated. Yet much solid nourishment can be found. “Death’s Duel” is Donne’s last sermon prepared for presentation before the King during Lent; it is commonly seen as Donne’s own funeral oration. The biographical material is from Izaak Walton’s Lives. The most famous part of the Devotions is number XVII (17), containing these lines: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee. (Summary by Wikipedia and David Wales)

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Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Run time 9:11:02

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